Why is it important: A year and a half after the launch of the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles, bots are still grabbing them whenever they appear online. Amazon has unveiled a new strategy to combat this problem, which it will expand to other limited-edition products.

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Sony has been using an invite-based system to sell PS5s online for some time now, thwarting bots and server overload. Amazon launched this week usage something similar for Sony’s latest console so that “real buyers” can keep them safe.

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The PlayStation 5 store pages on Amazon now have an invite button instead of a “purchase” button. After customers click on invite request, Amazon check that the account is not a bot by checking its purchase history and creation date. The company still can’t guarantee a console for everyone or predict wait times, but lucky buyers will receive an email with a link valid for 72 hours. A Prime subscription is not required to receive an invite.

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The invite system is currently only for US PlayStation 5 purchases, but those looking for an Xbox Series system will be able to use it in the coming days. Over time, Amazon will roll out this feature to users in other countries and expand it to include consoles and other high-demand items.

Other stores have their own strategies for blocking bots, such as Walmart. see success shortly after the launch of the PS5 and Xbox Series consoles. However, Best Buy’s attempt to stop GPU scalpers with a $200 paywall. backfired.

While shipments of new consoles have improved in recent months, Amazon buyers will likely have to rely on the invite system for a long time to come. Sony still can’t build PS5 is enough to meet consumer demand. The root of the problem is a global shortage of chips last until 2024, according to Intel and TSMC.